Are the lessons fun? Absolutely, and they build confidence in you and your dog. You will always remember when your dog does something great, and he will. Your dog will be learning new things all the time and you will feel proud of your achievements.
Do you train my dog? No, we train you to train your dog. This way you will be able to train any dog that you get in the future using the same method. We want your dog to listen to you, since you are the one that is going to be living with him.
I've heard that a tired dog is a behaved dog. Will exercise solve most of my dog's problems? Dogs are natural athletes and, as such, need exercise every day; however, exercise is not a substitute for training. In fact, for many dogs, vigorous exercise just gets them into better shape. For instance, my Jack Russell Terrier can easily run 18 miles and still have enough energy to bounce up and down when he thinks I'll play fetch. When I've taken him out for a 10 mile run, I frequently forget as soon as we're back that he's been exercised.
Do I need to be the boss when training my dog, cat, horse or bird? While you will need to set rules and limits so that your pet knows how to behave, you don't have to teach the behaviors by using force such as pinning them on their sides or yanking with a choke chain. You can instead train the pet by rewarding the good behaviors immediately as they occur and ensuring the pet does not get rewards for bad behavior. As a result, your approach for getting Fido trained should be more like a game of chess and less like a boxing match.
If I train my pet how long will the training last? Animals learn and change their habits throughout their life. This continual learning is important because an animal in the wild that stops learning won't be able to adapt to its environment and survive. Continue reinforcing good behaviors throughout the animal's life.
What's the most common training mistake people make? People think they're only training during planned training sessions when in reality, animals are continually being rewarded for good and bad behaviors all day. As a result of the lack of awareness owners often spend more time accidentally rewarding the undesirable behaviors than rewarding the desirable ones.
What's the most important thing you to understand about your dog to modify behavior? The most important point about animals is that animals perform behaviors because the behaviors have been reinforced. In order to change behavior, we have to reward an alternate behavior that you would prefer and remove all rewards for undesirable behavior. This means that you have to recognize what might be reinforcing bad behavior so that you don't accidentally reward it.
What do you use for rewards? It's important to use everything that motivates your pet to your advantage. Food rewards work well because, for instance, if your pet eats 100 kibble a day, you can reward him 100x for the same behavior in one day, which means he can learn the behavior and form a habit quickly. Once he knows the behavior well, you can give the food rewards intermittently and alternate with other reinforcers. Ultimately, you want to use what's most reinforcing to the pet in that instance. For example, if you're teaching your dog to sit before going out the door, at first reward with a sequence of treats for sitting and looking at you for permission before you let him out. Once he's consistently good at this behavior, you no longer need treats because his ultimate reward is getting to go out the door once he's automatically sat for you.
What's the most important behavior you can teach your pet? In general, for dogs and cats, the most important behavior is to teach them to ask politely for things they want by automatically saying please by sitting and looking at you for everything they want-that means food, petting, being picked up, going out the door, getting leash on, etc. By teaching them to learn to earn everything they learn that focusing on you isn't a chore, it's just the way they get what they want. They also learn emotional self control-that no matter how excited they are for the ball or treat, they only get it if they choose to sit and politely ask for permission. Then, in other situations where they want something or are unsure of what to do, they will tend to look to you for guidance. In other words they will start seeing you as a leader. Incidentally, the second most important behavior to teach your dog is to come running when called even with lots of distractions.